Ideas to market locallySometimes, the best place to market yourself is in your back yard, figuratively speaking. By targeting your local area, you put yourself in an advantageous position: You’re competing with fewer people for your services. It’s also true that by doing so, you decrease the number of potential customers, but this can be mitigated because many people want to work with people who live nearby. This gives you a better chance of being THE big fish in this smaller pond.
So, you’ve decided to think local. How do you go about it? Here are some ideas:
Show everybody online you’re local. The easiest way to do that is to include your address and phone number on your website. Another way is to get listed in online directories, such as Yelp and yellowpages.com. Individual search engines, such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing, also have online directories. Just go to any search engine, type in “business directories” and get a long list. Then, go to those sites and fill out the information – making sure you again include your local address and phone number.
Show everybody you meet you’re local. Good old-fashioned networking still works. Go to local chambers of commerce, networking groups, business mixers, trade shows and professional associations and get in front of as many people as you can. Stress that you’re local and looking for local customers/clients. Make sure you have business cards and marketing materials with local addresses and phone numbers. Maybe you can team up with “power partners,” which are businesses that could refer their clients to you because you offer a service those clients need. An example: web designer, content writer, graphic designer and proofreader/editor.
Show everybody you’re an expert who’s local. Have a portfolio that shows the awesome work you’ve done for local customers/clients. Get these people to give testimonials. Give a free seminar that leaves no doubt that you are the one to go to in your field/industry. Offer some of your lower-priced services at either deep discounts or for free. Have a blog that can link to your website, or write articles for local newspapers or trade publications.
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